I would really like to think this was more than just PR propaganda to negate the Mission Accomplished faux pas, but ... I don't.
Perhaps if it had been GWB's idea, but ... it wasn't.
Perhaps if a simple statement [sans photo op] was released after the fact, but ... that's not what happened [admittedly that would be asking a lot].
Instead we got the usual filtered message by an administration that censors the press and restricts access when unfavorable reports may be issued and rewards its disciples. Was anyone surprised that Fox, but not CNN, was at Bush's Thanksgiving surprise?.
So, call me a cynic but I believe this gesture was as hollow as the *heart that likely conceived it, and the head through which it was perpetrated.
*[yes, I know, the line is that it was Card's idea - I don't buy that either]
It would appear the Iraqis are a tad skeptical/cynical as well.
The issue of whether or not the action itself was a good one or the right thing to do can be considered separately from the motivation(s); good things can be done for all the wrong reasons. This can only be determined by the men and women serving in Iraq [and Afghanistan, don't forget Afghanistan]. If it helped more than it hurt, it was a good thing.